2004-03-30 | The YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library Friday Theater (April–May)

On the second and fourth Fridays of each month the YIDFF Organizing Committee holds screenings of films which are not shown at commercial theaters, such as documentary films including the Film Library Collection films, pre-war Japanese films, masterpieces, independent works, experimental films, and animation at the 40-seat theater. Tomonokai (support) members can join the Friday Theater for free (membership fee is 1,000 yen for six months). Anyone is welcome to join the Tomonokai.

The YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library Friday Theater

YIDFF 2003 Encore Screenings Part 6
April 9 (Friday) 14:00, 18:30 (program screens twice)
The Old Man of Hara
Mahvash Sheyikholeslami / IRAN / 2001 / 30 min / New Asian Currents Award of Excellence
Producer and Distributor: Iranian Young Cinema Society (IYCS)

Herz Frank / LATVIA / 2002 / 105 min

The Old Man of Hara: An elderly man silently and solitarily engrosses himself in fishing with a net. Without narration or incident, images and audio of his persistently low-key life unfold. From the director of Silk, screened at YIDFF ’97. Jury comments

Flashback: An autobiographical work from Herz Frank, director of Once There Were Seven Simeons (Runner-up Prize in the Competition at YIDFF ’91). Images guide us through the countries in which he worked, interspersed with fragments from his earlier films: births, autopsies, circumcisions, prisoners awaiting execution and other shocking themes. These culminate in scenes from the director’s own heart surgery. The earnestness with which he continues to confront “life” and “death,” using himself as the subject, vividly brings traces of his 75-year journey to the surface.

YIDFF 2003 Encore Screenings Part 7
April 23 (Friday) 14:00, 18:30 (program screens twice)
A Short Journey
Tanon Sattarujawong / THAILAND / 2003 / 5 min / New Asian Currents Special Mention, FIPRESCI Special Mention
Ernesto Ardito, Virna Molina / ARGENTINA / 2002 / 127 min

A Short Journey: 7-year-old Keng lives with his family on the streets, but wants to go to school. First of all, he must convince his alcoholic father. A brilliant short work that reflects a bleak unembellished reality with minimal imagery. Jury comments

Raymundo: Filmmaker Raymundo Gleyzer was abducted and killed by the Argentinean military dictatorship in 1976. This film depicts his life, as well as the history of anti-war cinema and liberation movements in Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s, with extensive usage of the films he left behind, home movies and archive footage. Through its brisk tempo, suspenseful developments and the enchanting music that envelops the entire film, memories and ideals that could not be destroyed by the CIA or the military junta are resurrected.

Spring Swordfighting Festival
May 14 (Friday) 14:00, 18:00 (program screens twice)
Jirocho Gaiden: Akiba no Himatsuri
Makino Masahiro / 1955 / 90 min
Suteuri Kanbei
Makino Masahiro / 1958 / 90 min

How about a little katana-swinging action between documentaries? Kawazu Seizaburo stars as Jirocho, Morishige Hisaya plays Morino Ishimatsu, and Kitahara Mie appears as a packhorse guide in the classic Akiba no Himatsuri. Suteuri Kanbei, one of director Makino Masahiro’s forgotten masterpieces, examines the nature of the samurai through the story of a masterless warrior who fights for money and a female kabuki theater star living in a tenement house. Two essential films that encapsulate the essence of Makino’s unique filmmaking style.

YIDFF 2003 Encore Screenings Part 8
May 28 (Friday) 14:00, 18:30 (program screens twice)
Sha Qing / CHINA / 2002 / 49 min / Ogawa Shinsuke Prize
The Big Durian
Amir Muhammad / MALAYSIA / 2003 / 75 min / New Asian Currents Special Mention

Wellspring: In a rural village, a youth with cerebral paralysis becomes ill and his condition begins to deteriorate. His family can only watch over him helplessly. The painstakingly-filmed individual images and unsentimental editing convey more than just what is seen on screen, and are deeply moving. Jury comments

The Big Durian: In 1987, after an incident where a Malay soldier went on a shooting spree in Chinatown, groundless rumors ran rampant and the racial tension between Malays and Chinese Malaysians heightened. Will some kind of truth emerge from the memories of that day spoken here by men and women of all ages? A comical experiment by director Muhammad, who was 15 when the shootings occurred. Jury comments

[Venue] The YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library (Yamagata Big Wing 3F)
[Admission] Free for Tomonokai members. (Membership fee: 1,000 yen for six months)
[Contact] phone: 023-666-4480 (Yamagata office)